The Nebraska Supreme Court handed down a ruling in a case brought by Sarpy County against the City of Gretna in May, which cleared the way for Gretna and other municipalities to annex contiguous or adjacent land that is urban or suburban in nature. Attorney David Levy of Baird Holm law firm discussed the ruling in a recent edition of the firm’s real estate newsletter Dirt Alert.
Sarpy County argued – and the Sarpy County District Court agreed – that the property was rural in nature and therefore could not be annexed. The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that it must consider more than the property’s current use and consider its character, proximity to growth areas, the degree of growth in the immediate area and the contemplated future development. The court also ruled that a municipality may annex several parcels if the parcels are “substantially adjacent” to one another and at least one of the parcels is contiguous or adjacent to the municipality. Sarpy County made other arguments in the initial court case which were not addressed to the Supreme Court.
This ruling sets guidelines and clarifies criteria to be considered for future annexations and may be interpreted to allow a more aggressive annexation policy in the agricultural areas surrounding Nebraska municipalities. You can find more detailed information on the ruling at https://www.bairdholm.com/blog/category/publications/dirt-alert/.
This article appeared in our company newsletter in October of 2021. Please click here to download the entire newsletter.